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Conflict-Diamond Definition on KP Agenda

Nov 11, 2018 9:37 AM   By Leah Meirovich
RAPAPORT... The World Diamond Council (WDC) will propose an expanded definition of conflict diamonds at this week’s Kimberley Process (KP) plenary meeting in Brussels.

The broader wording will address “grave and systematic violence,” the WDC said Thursday, without giving more details. The council will present the change to attendees before member states vote on the matter, WDC president Stephane Fischler told Rapaport News. All countries must agree for the amendment to take effect.

“As long as no one votes against the motion, it is adopted,” Fischler said.

The definition has been the subject of debate for several years, as critics have argued that the current language doesn’t reflect the present situation. It defines conflict diamonds as “rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments,” but doesn’t mention human-rights abuses by states themselves.

The WDC, which represents the diamond industry at the KP, also wants to establish a permanent secretariat responsible for overseeing banned countries’ return to the market. In addition, it aims to improve the peer-review mechanism under which countries assess each other’s KP compliance. It will also discuss how the KP can engage a “stronger and more diverse set” of African nations and help African countries become compliant with the KP’s rules.

“This is our final KP meeting of the year, and it marks an important milestone as we close the second [year] of a three-year review cycle for the KPCS [Kimberley Process Certification Scheme],” Fischler said. “I am encouraged so far by how members are embracing the spirit of collaboration and desire for reform. This makes it possible for us to remain singularly focused on driving meaningful change as part of the sustainable-development commitment of the diamond industry.”

The KP plenary runs from Monday through Thursday.

Image: Stephane Fischler.
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